Unit III Postmodernism


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Unit III Postmodernism

  1. 1. Unit III: THE POSTMODERN AGE<br />Literature in English II<br />Prof. Julia I. Martínez<br />
  2. 2. MODERNITY<br />Epochal term (refers to a historical period)<br />From the Renaissance (reason)/ Enlightenment (18th c.) till today<br />
  3. 3. MODERN AGE<br />Historical age<br />From the end of the 15th c. (discovery of America) to 1789 (the French Revolution). Then, the Contemporary Age begins<br />
  4. 4. MODERNISM<br />One of the cultural manifestations of Modernity.<br />A category that means change / rupture / beginning / a moment of crisis<br />It began in 1922 with Eliot’s “The Wasteland” and Joyce’s “Ulysses,” and finished (?) around 1960<br />
  5. 5. MateiCalinescu: The Five Faces of Modernity (1987)<br />Postmodernism is one other face of the extraordinary phenomenon that came to be known as modernism<br />It is another expression of the modernist ethos since there are “two conflicting and interdependent modernities -one socially progressive, rationalistic, competitive, technological; the other culturally critical and self-critical, bent on demystifying the basic values of the first...” (p. 265).<br />
  6. 6. POSTMODERNISM<br />A period in Western history beginning in the 1960s (Postmodernity)<br />A style in culture (Postmodernism)<br />A style of thought / an intellectual atmosphere (Postmodern theory)<br />
  7. 7. Ihab Hassan & Brian McHale:<br />POST – MODERN – ISM<br /> movement, poetics<br /> modernism<br />Anti: reaction against Modernism<br />After:  logical consequence of modernism<br /> temporal posteriority<br /> successor of Modernism<br />
  8. 8. Brian McHale (1987):<br />In order to differentiate modernist from postmodernist fiction, we should talk about the dominant of each<br />taken from Jackobson (the focusing component or the principle of sistematicity)<br />
  9. 9. Brian McHale:<br />
  10. 10. Socio-cultural context of Postmodernism<br />End of the 1960s<br />Counter culture: Hippie and feminist movements<br />Strikes (students’ strikes in particular)<br />
  11. 11. Postmodern Theory (Steven Best)<br />Origin: France, 1960s / 1970s<br />Rapid modernisation process (1960s)<br />changes in lifestyle (anxiety<br />Post-structuralist philosophers (1970s): Derrida, Kristeva, Foucault, Lancan<br />instability of meaning<br />Rupture with traditions<br />Change in thought strikes (1960s)<br />
  12. 12. Leslie Fiedler<br />“The End of the Novel” (1967)<br />Writers turned to experimental writing because they didn’t know what to write about<br />
  13. 13. John Barth<br />“The Literature of Exhaustion” (1967)<br />“The Literature of Replenishment” (1980)<br />He reacted against Fiedler<br />In his view, it is true that some forms are exhausted, but this “experimentation” may lead to a new form.<br />If there are no more topics to write about, we should use the past to recreate new fiction.<br />Literature is inexhaustible<br />
  14. 14. Effects:<br />Writers abandoned classical fiction<br />Writers turned to experimental fiction<br />Reality can’t be apprehended<br />If we can’t tell what reality is, how can we represent reality? By constructing new realities<br />Phenomenology (Husserl)<br />
  15. 15. Main concerns of Postmodernism<br />Deconstruction of:<br />Truth<br />Language<br />History<br />Reality<br />Meaning<br />Identity<br />Power<br />Space<br />
  16. 16. Main characteristics<br />
  17. 17.
  18. 18. Metafiction - Definition <br />A tendency within fiction<br />Patricia Waugh (1984): “Fictional writing that systematically / self-consciously draws attention to its status as an artifact” (p. 2)<br />It poses questions about the relationship between fact and fiction (existential questioning) (p. 2)<br />Examines the fundamental structures of narrative fiction (experimental writing)<br />
  19. 19. Metafiction - Themes<br />Relationship / boundaries / juxtaposition of fact and reality and fiction and fantasy<br />Reality as a linguistic and discursive construct<br />Role of the person who writes fiction (fiction maker); critical reflections about writing fiction<br />
  20. 20. Metafiction - Devices<br />Critical discussions of the story within story <br />Visible inventing narrator (obtrusive narrator)<br />Explicit dramatisation of the reader<br />Construction / deconstruction of worlds<br />Intertextuality<br />Narrative self-erasure<br />
  21. 21. Metafiction - Devices<br />Multiple endings<br />Chinese-box structures<br />Lexical exhibitionism, catalogues<br />Heteroglossia (polyphony of voices)<br />Breakdown of spatial and temporal organisation of the narrative (playful)<br />Parody<br />Historical revisionism<br />Pastiche<br />
  22. 22. HistoriographicMetafiction<br />Linda Hutcheon (1988): “In the 19th century (…) literature and history were considered branches of the same tree of learning. (…) Then came the separation that resulted in the distinct disciplines of literary and historical studies today. (…) However, it is this very separation of the literary and the historical that is now being challenged in postmodern theory and art” (p. 105)<br />
  23. 23. HistoriographicMetafiction<br />Hutcheon: “they are both identified as linguistic constructs, highly conventionalized in their narrative forms, and not at all transparent either in terms of language or structure; and they appear to be equally intertextual, deploying the texts of the past within their own complex textuality” (p. 105)<br />
  24. 24. HistoriographicMetafiction<br />Hutcheon: “this kind of novel asks us to recall that history and fiction are themselves historical terms and that their definitions and interrelations are historically determined and vary with time” (105)<br />“Historiographic metafiction suggests that truth and falsity may indeed not be the right terms in which to discuss fiction” (109)<br />
  25. 25. HistoriographicMetafiction<br />Hutcheon: “Postmodern fiction suggests that to re-write or to re-present the past in fiction and in history is, in both cases, to open it up to the present, to prevent it from being conclusive and teleological” (p. 110)<br />Historiographic metafictions “both install and then blur the line between fiction and history” (p. 113)<br />
  26. 26. HistoriographicMetafiction<br />Hutcheon: “Postmodern novels raise a number of specific issues regarding the interaction of historiography and fiction that deserve more detailed study: issues surrounding the nature of identity and subjectivity; the question of reference and representation; the intertextual nature of the past; and the ideological implications of writing about history” (p. 117)<br />